Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale

Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale

While gazing from his beachside condo, Port Everglades Director Steve Cernak sees giant cargo ships barely squeezing into his port's harbor, riding in at high tide only partly loaded to avoid hitting bottom.

Cernak, with a big boost from Congress, plans to fix that problem by deepening the port's channels to accommodate fully loaded vessels and far bigger ones expected to pass through a widened Panama Canal. The payoff, he says, will be more efficient trade that keeps the price of consumer goods relatively low while generating thousands of new jobs in South Florida and beyond.

A similar story is unfolding here at the Port of Palm Beach, and farther north at Port Canaveral and the Port of Jacksonville, where federal dredging projects are underway to lure bigger cargo and cruise ships, potentially setting off a cascade of jobs, tax revenue and tourism.

Read More (Sun-Sentinel)